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Best Workout Headphones for Exercise and Running

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Here is a review of the best workout headphones for exercise and running focusing on wireless (Bluetooth) earphones because I don’t like to mess with wires while working out. I haven’t included over-the-ear headphones because when I’m hot and sweaty, I don’t want anything to cover my ears and make the situation even worse.

In 2016, I compared the Bose SoundSport vs. the Plantronics BackFit Fit to find the best workout headphones for running. Some time has passed since then, and there are now many more options available. So I figured I would do another review and bring more wireless headphones into the mix.

Reviewed Workout Headphones

Models marked with an asterisk (*) indicate that I own these headphones and that I have hands-on experience with them.

Alpha & Delta Jaap*


Anker SoundBuds Sport NB10


Apple AirPods*


Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless


Blitzwolf BTS1*


Blitzwolf BTS3*


Bose SoundSport*


Bose SoundSport Free


Jabra Elite Active 65t


Jabra Elite Sport


Jabra Sport Coach


Jabra Sport Pace


Jabra Sport Pulse


Jaybird RUN*


Jaybird Freedom 2


Jaybird X3


Olala SG1*


Plantronics BackBeat Fit*


Plantronics BackBeat Fit 300*


Rowkin Surge Charge*


Rowkin Surge


Rowkin Pulse


Tribit XSport Fly*


Urbanears Stadion


Urbanears Jakan


xFyro ARIA


xFyro xS2*


Indicates the Editor’s Choice!

Earbuds that stay in your ear

All the exercise headphones I tested performed well and securely stayed in my ears while working out. To find the brand and model that works best for you ultimately depends on your personal preferences regarding design, playback control, battery life, etc.

Note: The Apple AirPods are technically not sports headphones because they are officially not water-resistant. Despite that, I have frequently used them for working out and so have others. The reason why the AirPods appear to be, at least, sweat-resistant is because Apple has added a ton of glue inside each earbud, which shields the sensitive electronics from water.

The Best Workout Headphones Compared

Given the size of the table and the available screen space, especially on mobile devices, I decided to create a more detailed PDF that you can request via email using the form below. If you prefer the on-screen version instead, you’ll have to scroll horizontally to see the full table.

Alpha & Delta Anker Apple Beats Blitzwolf Blitzwolf Bose Bose Jabra Jabra Jabra Jabra Jabra Jaybird Jaybird Jaybird Olala Plantronics Plantronics Rowkin Rowkin Rowkin Tribit Urbanears Urbanears xFyro xFyro
Model Jaap SoundBuds Sport NB10 AirPods Powerbeats3 Wireless BTS1 BTS3 SoundSport SoundSport Free Elite Active 65t Elite Sport Sport Coach Sport pace Sport Pulse RUN Freedom 2 X3 SG1 BackBeat Fit BackBeat Fit 300 Surge Charge Surge Pulse XSport Fly Stadion Jakan ARIA xS2
Sound ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★
Wire-free ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎
Water-resistance IPX5 IPX5 Sweat & Water IPX4 IPX5 IPX4 IPX4 IP56 IP67 IP55 IP54 IP55 Sweat & Water Sweat & Water Sweat & Water IPX4 IP57 IPX5 IPX5 IPX5 IPX5 IPX7 Unknown Unknown IP67 IP67
Driver 11mm 12mm Unknown Unknown 12mm 12mm Unknown Unknown 6mm 6mm 6mm 12.4mm 6mm 6mm 6mm 6mm 9.2mm 13mm 6mm 14mm 14mm 12mm 6mm Unknown Unknown 16mm 6mm
Noise-reduction ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ Passive Passive ✘︎ ✘︎ Passive Passive Passive Passive Passive Passive Passive ✘︎ Passive Passive Passive Passive ✘︎ Passive Passive
Battery life (listen) 6h 6h 5h 12h 6-8h 8h 6h 5h 5h 4.5h 5.5h 5h 5h 4h 4h 8h 8h 8h 6h 5h 5h 4h 8h 7h 12h 8h 5h
Siri support ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎ ✘︎
Bluetooth 4.2 4.1 4.2 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.0 4.1 5.0 4.1 4.0 4.1 4.0 4.1 4.1 4.1 4.1 3.0 4.1 4.2 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.0 4.1 5.0 4.2
Multi-device support
Design Hook In-Ear & Hook Earbuds In-Ear & Hook In-Ear In-Ear & Hook